Quotes from Australian laws in regards to “works created by journalists”:
The second exception to the general rule that the author is the first owner of the work relates to journalists. Journalists are placed in a special position that can be contrasted with the position of all other employees.
An employed journalist is the owner of the copyright for the reproduction of the work in the form of a hard copy facsimile.
Working for a newspaper or magazine: Journalists working for newspapers or magazines (excluding freelancers) are in a unique position, as copyright is divided between the employee and employer.
For works created before 30 July 1998, your employer owns both the newspaper and magazine publication rights, while you own the copyright for all other purposes; eg, photocopying and book publication.
In the case of works created on or after 30 July 1998, you own the copyright for the photocopying of your work directly from a hardcopy original or for reproduction for inclusion in a book. Your employer owns the copyright for all other purposes including online and magazine publishing, digital copying and facsimile transmission.
Journalists not working for a magazine or newspaper: If you are a journalist working somewhere other than a newspaper or magazine, your employer will usually own copyright in any articles you write in the course of your employment. This includes digital rights.
This is actually quite shocking to me to know that journalists don’t own the copyright of their own work except the rights for the reproduction of the work.
How can I interpret this? Perhaps, journalists’ practices are interpreted as less of creative, rather more of fact-checking in the course of civil service. But still I somehow feel disappointed that journalists are so proletariat that they are not legally supported to claim for their own rights of their own works. I think this mechanism has some sort of issue in its own.. Not only this, Australia must be providing journalists with a harsh environment to work within:
Press freedom in Australia operates by convention rather than by constitutional guarantee. Australia is anomalous in that it is the only western democracy that does not have a legal instrument (either a constitutional or statutory bill of rights) that protects freedom of speech or expression.
Keeping journalists in a safe place is important for democratic process. I don’t know how this contradiction can be removed within a short time frame in this country..
Australian Copyright Council: http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/